6.9/10
1,220
1 user 30 critic

Closeness (2017)

Tesnota (original title)
In the late-1990s squalid town of Nalchik, a poor young Jewish couple is kidnapped and a grievous ransom is demanded, as bitter resentments and cruel dilemmas come to light, magnifying the small community's grave predicament.

Director:

Kantemir Balagov
Reviews
15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Arrhythmia (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A paramedic devoted to his patients struggles to make time for his wife who begins to believe his patients are more important to him than she is.

Director: Boris Khlebnikov
Stars: Aleksandr Yatsenko, Irina Gorbacheva, Nikolay Shrayber
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Hoping to claim his newly vacated apartment, a young man travels across Russia with his aging gangster father to admit him into a nursing home.

Director: Aleksandr Khant
Stars: Dmitriy Arkhangelskiy, Sergey Bukreev, Konstantin Gatsalov
Krotkaya (2017)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman lives in a small village in Russia. One day she receives the parcel she sent to her husband, serving a sentence in prison. Confused and angered, she sets out to find why her package was returned to sender.

Director: Sergey Loznitsa
Stars: Liya Akhedzhakova, Valeriu Andriutã, Vasilina Makovtseva
Lerd (2017)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A drama about corruption and injustice in Iranian society. You are the oppressed, or you have to join the oppressor to survive!

Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
Stars: Reza Akhlaghirad, Soudabeh Beizaee, Nasim Adabi
Makala (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Trials tribulation dreams and aspirations of a young farmer earning a living making and selling charcoal in Congo.

Director: Emmanuel Gras
Stars: Kabwita Kasongo, Lydie Kasongo
Sea Sorrow (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An examination of the historical context for the current migrant crisis.

Director: Vanessa Redgrave
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

One night, a group of workers discover their factory is being dismantled by the same administration that runs it. Quickly, the labourers organize themselves in order to occupy the plant.

Director: Pedro Pinho
Stars: José Smith Vargas, Carla Galvão, Njamy Sebastião
Jeune femme (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In her early thirties, broke, and in the wake of a humbling breakup, a spirited, yet rudderless young woman finds herself struggling to get by in the bustling Parisian metropolis; however, if she can make it there, she'll make it anywhere.

Director: Léonor Serraille
Stars: Laetitia Dosch, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Grégoire Monsaingeon
Son frère (2003)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two brothers with a problematic relationship in the past, find together again when the elder one gets a dangerous disease and asks his brother to accompany him to several doctors.

Director: Patrice Chéreau
Stars: Bruno Todeschini, Éric Caravaca, Nathalie Boutefeu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On the night of their tenth anniversary, Doctor Rene Richard accidentally discovers that his wife, actress Madeleine Richard, has been having an affair with a disturbed artist, Daniel ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Delannoy
Stars: Michèle Morgan, Jean Gabin, Walter Chiari
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A view of the religious tensions between Muslims and Buddhist through the portrait of the Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, leader of anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Ashin Wirathu, U. Zanitar, Kyaw Zayar Htun
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Kantemir Balagov
Stars: Andrey Chulkov, Aleksandr Kladko, Niole Meilute
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Atrem Cipin Atrem Cipin ... Avi Koft
Olga Dragunova Olga Dragunova ... Adina Koft
Veniamin Kac Veniamin Kac ... David Koft
Darya Zhovnar ... Ilana 'Ila' Koft
Nazir Zhukov Nazir Zhukov ... Zalim
Edit

Storyline

1998, Nalchik. A Jewish family is in trouble: the youngest son and his bride do not come home, and in the morning, a ransom note arrives. The ransom is so high that the family is forced not only to sell its small business, but also to seek help from its fellow tribesmen. Written by rurban

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

22 December 2017 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Closeness See more »

Filming Locations:

Saint-Petersburg, Russia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kantemir Balagov incorporated footage of a real snuff film involving murders into Closeness. See more »

Connections

References Titanic (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A new Russian director to follow
24 March 2018 | by guy-bellingerSee all my reviews

Tesnota', a film directed by 26-year-old Kantemir Balagov, impresses with its rugged authenticity, its uncompromising standards and its bold aesthetic option, all the more as this is the young filmmaker's first fiction. Based on a real fact that took place in 1998, in the town of Nalchik in North Caucasus, 'Testnota' tells the sad story of a Jewish family, hitherto barely tolerated - like the rest of their community - by the rest of the population of this Kabardino-Balkar republic of Russia. One unfortunate day, the precarious situation the Kofts are in (Avi Koft is a modest garage owner) is challenged by the abduction of the family's son, David, the very night he got engaged to Lea. A large ransom is demanded, so high that they cannot afford to pay it. And, for some reason, calling the police is out of the question. .. The rest the story is for you to discover but be assured that it is eventful. The backbone of the tale is Ila, David's rebellious older sister, played with dark incandescence by a talented newcomer named Darya Jovner. Craving for freedom, Ila does only what she has decided to do, like loving who she has chosen (a Kabard instead of a Jewish boy) or doing the job she is fond of (being a mechanic for her father for free rather than having a paid office work), and although the director's (and accordingly ours) sympathy goes to her, the strong-willed girl cannot but make things even more complicated than they already are. This is one of the reasons why, even if this is deliberately not an action flick (the kidnapping remains off camera for instance), tension appears early in the narration and never abates until the final scenes. Simply, the suspense stems from the characters' attidudes and their confrontations rather than from car chases or other stunt set pieces. And at that, Balagov (who has studied cinema with the famous Aleksandar Sokurov) is already a past master. The characters all being in disagreement with each other guarantees a series of powerful scenes, not unlike the best ones in Tennesse Williams or Edward Albee's theater. It goes without saying that to reach such a level, it takes great performers, which is the case here. The already mentioned Darya Jovner is well supported particularly two other noticeable thespians, Olga Dorunova (as the suffering but intolerant mother) and Atrem Tsypin (as her mild husband always trying to round the quares). Artistically speaking, 'Tsenota' is also some kind of an achievement. The choice of the 1.37 ratio for one is particularly relevant as it enhances the feeling of suffocation experienced by the Koft family members. The work on colors, translating into visual sensations the feelings they are going through at a given time (blood red, electric blue, etc), is equally meaningful and remarkable. Not that 'Tesnota' is absolutely perfect. A few scenes drag on (the deflowering and the nightclub scenes, for example). Worse, a slaughter video is shown full-time in all its graphic details. It lasts and lasts and serves no other purpose than to show the young Karbads who are watching it remain indifferent to the sufferings of the victims, which we would have understood as easily without such a display of complacency. What is the point of dwelling so much on the matter? WE do not approve of the Chechens' methods, even if WE think their fight is justified ? So, why do WE, poor viewers are we condemned to endure such horrors for such long minutes ? To be persuaded of what we were convinced in the first place? Quite debatable! But, apart from such occasional shortcomings, 'Tesnota' undoubtedly is an outstanding work. An interesting description of a little known place, a well chosen starting point that holds its promises, exceptionally well directed actors, an in-depth psychological and sociological study, an artistic achievement, all these points contribute to make the film it a must-see and Kantemir Balagov a director to follow.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed